Ian Poulter on What Makes the Masters Different — and Why Having His Family There Relaxes Him
"It's a really nice distraction to have because you can get very wrapped up in the week," Ian Poulter says of having his wife and kids present at The Masters in Augusta, Georgia
Having his own personal cheering section at the Masters Tournament this week fuels Ian Poulter.
The English golfer, 45, tells PEOPLE that having his wife Katie Poulter and four kids, Aimee-Leigh, 19, Luke, 17, Lilly-Mai, 12, and Joshua, 9, at his tournaments "kind of relaxes me off the golf course."
"That's always nice to be able to have that distraction," he explains to PEOPLE ahead of the 2021 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia. "It's a really nice distraction to have because you can get very wrapped up in the week and just add too much pressure."
The Mercedes-Benz ambassador continues, "So to have family with you to be able to sit and to kind of get you away from the stresses of what normal tournament weeks are, it's a very good thing."
Heading into the iconic tournament, Poulter says he has a "relaxed frame of mind" and is "feeling good." Poulter has played for the coveted green jacket 15 times before, but has never ultimately been victorious.
"I'm super excited. I'm not nervous," he says. "I've been here so many times, so I just feel pretty chill."
Knowing the course, he explains, gives him an advantage and a deeper understanding of what to expect than some younger players. The Masters is always hosted at Augusta National, while all of the other PGA Tour majors rotate through different venues.
"We know the clubhouse, we know where everything is," he explains. "You feel very comfortable. It's almost like playing your second home golf course. It's so enjoyable because of that."
Now, two decades into his career, Poulter says he still has "pinch me" moments nearly every time he walks onto a golf course on tour.
"I'm living out my dream," the pro athlete says. "Every week I play golf. I don't take it for granted. I'm in a very privileged situation to be able to compete against the best players in the world."
Watch the 2021 Masters Tournament on ESPN and CBS, starting Thursday.
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